Season two of HBO’s “Westworld” premiered Sunday night, and people are already theorizing.
Much of the episode is told through Bernard’s perspective, so it’s unreliable given that he’s a host. And not only is he a host: he’s a glitching host.
Throughout the episode, we see small signs that something is wrong with Bernard. His hands shake uncontrollably, his memory is dodgy (even more so than usual), and at one point goo comes out of his ear.
So what exactly is happening to him, and why? And how can he stop it?
Here, we analyse everything about Bernard that could explain what’s going on, and some possible solutions:
In the scenes showing Bernard escape the aftermath of Ford’s death and the host takeover, Bernard starts to notice his malfunctions. His hands shake uncontrollably, and he has to hide it from Charlotte, who has no idea he’s not a human.
Toward the end of the episode, we see fluid come out of Bernard’s ear. He’s in panic mode because Charlotte is nearby. He has to inject himself with “cortical fluid” while she is down there while he’s losing vision, and his entire body is shaking.
Ford made Bernard shoot himself in the head
In episode nine of season one, Ford corners Bernard in the facility below the park. Clementine is there with a gun. In this scene, Ford explains to Bernard why he was created. But Ford ends the conversation by ordering Bernard to shoot himself in the head.
We don’t completely understand how these hosts work and get repaired, but the fact that Bernard shot himself in the head could be a major reason why he’s not functioning well right now.
We still don’t know if all of the hosts in the park actually have free will, or if they’re still acting out a narrative that Ford created.
At this point, we think Bernard is acting on his own free will, but there is still a chance that Ford could have written this glitching into Bernard’s narrative.
In the season one finale, right before the dinner where Dolores shoots Ford, he tells Bernard, “In order to escape this place, you will need to suffer more.”
Ford knows more abut Bernard than anyone else, since he’s the one who made him. Ford gave him a backstory and assigned him countless narratives to play out, so Ford probably knew how much this overload of memories would affect him physically.
Bernard is fine on the beach — sort of
In the season two premiere, Bernard is found on the beach. We’re told it’s been two weeks since the host rebellion that Ford instigated. But Bernard seems fine, compared to just after the incident, which suggests that this is a flash forward in time and he’s been fixed.
While Bernard appears to be ok physically during these scenes, it appears that his memory is stressing him out. In these scenes he looks and acts confused, because he probably is, as his host brain is loaded with multiple narratives he’s experienced as a host and the backstory Ford gave him.
Bernard injects himself with cortical fluid while he’s below the park with Charlotte, but it appears to only be a temporary fix for his symptoms. It looks like he’ll need someone who’s an expert in how hosts work to help him out.
What does cortical fluid even do?
Like many things on “Westworld,” we don’t know. We just know that it’s essential for hosts. In the episode, we see Bernard inject cordical fluid into the neck of another host, and in the same spot on himself. We’re assuming it goes up somewhere in a host’s head, as seen here.
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